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New cafe opens in Norwich city centre

PUBLISHED: 11:30 22 February 2011 | UPDATED: 09:02 23 February 2011

Official opening of 7 Surrey Street cafe, Norwich. Left to right, Georgie Ball, Rach Pownall, Elle Sharpe, Mark Thompson, Ian, Lyn McAlister (owner).; PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Official opening of 7 Surrey Street cafe, Norwich. Left to right, Georgie Ball, Rach Pownall, Elle Sharpe, Mark Thompson, Ian, Lyn McAlister (owner).; PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2011

A Norwich café was star struck when it was launched by a regular and BBC astrologer Mark Thompson last week.

The premises for Seven, which is on Surrey Street, were taken over by Lyn McAlister five months ago.

Mrs McAlister who previously worked in the UEA box office and Watton library, said she wanted people to feel like they were coming to her home.

The 47-year-old had a regular following for her cupcakes at the Wymonham Farmer’s Market before she decided to start the café. “Quite a few of those customers come here,” she said.

“The staff have been brilliant and the customers have been fantastic. We already have lots of regulars.” Mr Thompson, astronomer for the BBC’s The One Show and Stargazing Live, said he used the café because a lot of his work involved writing.

“I do go regularly because it is a convenient environment to work in. It is relatively quiet, but at the same time there is a buzz.”

Mrs McAlister said: “Before I bought the business I was going to dramatically change the menu however, I have learnt through experience that it is vital to listen to your customers.

“So, after buying the café and chatting to the regulars it became very apparent that people love the breakfasts, bacon baps and great coffee, so my main aim is to add to our menu and build a reputation for delicious simple food that people come back for time and again. As long as it tastes good. As long as it’s nice and warm and relaxing rather than something too fancy.”

She is going to launch homemade cupcakes, which she sold on a stall at Wymondham Farmer’s Market as well as savoury treats such as cheese straws, scones, quiches and sausage rolls. “The home made taste is hard to beat,” she said.

She said they would also be selling buffet platter for local businesses as well as encouraging people to hold business meetings.

Are you opening a new business? Call Donna-Louise Bishop on 01603 772438 or email donna.louise-bishop@archant.co.uk

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